Content marketing is king on social media, and companies are devoting serious money to developing content.
Seventy-three percent of digital marketers agree that brands are becoming publishers (Source: econsultancy), but less than than half of companies have dedicated budgets (34 percent) or dedicated individuals (46 percent) for content marketing.
Sixty-five percent of companies consider content marketing to be too expensive to produce. And if you are like most small or large companies you don’t have piles of money rolling around for content marketing.
Here are some inexpensive ways and tools you can use to develop content marketing on a shoestring budget:
1. Start a blog on your website. You can easily add a WordPress blog on your website and start blogging. Make sure it’s on the same domain as your main website. Link to it directly from the homepage. Start blogging on a regular basis, once a week or more frequently. Show off your expertise in your business and industry. Be consistent with your blogging frequency. Interview important people in your industry. Show videos and how to’s of your business. Answer questions that you normally get from your customers. Cost: low cost to set up the blog and 1-2 hours of your time each week to blog.
2. Hire someone to write for you. You are busy running a business. I get it. You don’t have time to blog yourself. Then hire someone who can do it for you. You can go with a place like eLance or Craigslist or look at a specific blogging platform like Scripted where you can hire bloggers based on industry and topic. A standard blog post of 350-450 words will run you $49. If you decide to use a freelancer, be prepared to pay anywhere between $10 to $150 per blog post. You can also assign your team to do the writing and come up with a schedule and an area of expertise. Other content provider options are oDesk and TextBroker. Cost: With TextBroker you will pay as little as 1.3 cents/word, so for a 1,000-word high-quality blog post, you will pay $72.
3. Hire a content marketing company that can define your audience’s needs and create quality content that will appeal to your customers. If you can find a quality company, you can get a marketing partner on your side and stop worrying about keeping your content fresh. Cost: It depends on the project, business and content marketing needs.
4. Create visual content for free. In addition to blog posts, you can showcase your business and products visually. We all know that visual works great on the web and social networks like Pinterest and Instagram are capitalizing on the opportunity. A great free tool to use is PicMonkey that allows you to edit images, add text and create good visuals without being a designer. Another one gaining popularity is Canva which allows you to create infographics, presentations, posters, social media profiles and more for free. No need to be a designer. Cost: Your time
Milena Regos is principal and founder of Out & About Marketing, an Incline Village-based digital marketing and social media consulting firm. She can be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org.